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  1. I just got a chance to read this and I am so thankful to be able to meet people like this and work with some top notch school systems. A Positive Story.docx In this strange unpredictable world of Covid-19, I have a very positive story I would like to share with you. Last week my team, the Rensselaer Central Bombers prepared very hard for our next opponent, the Lafayette Central Catholic Knights. We were scheduled for a major Hoosier Conference showdown to be played at their place. My team came to school wearing their game jerseys all fired up for the big game. At 9:00am after my first class I teach, our school athletic director, informed me that the game had been cancelled by Central Catholic due to Covid issues. With less than 10 hours to go before kick off, I expressed to our athletic director that I would like to see if any team is out there available and willing to play on such short notice and he agreed. Within an hour we had our opponent. The North Knox Warriors had two games already cancelled on them this season due to Covid. Pike Central cancelled on them for last Friday. As fate had it, by 11am on Friday, our athletic director, Ken Hickman had reached out to North Knox’s athletic director, Kent Doades and the next thing I knew was we would be playing a football game on Saturday. With North Knox being 3 1/2 hours away, the next issue was where would this game be played? That’s where this story gets even better. Covington High School was contacted to see if they would be willing to host this game as a neutral site. The athletic director there, Trent McCormick was gracious enough to accept the game as a neutral site host. So, this past Saturday the Rensselaer Central Bombers and the North Knox Warriors got together in Covington, Indiana and played a 48 minute game of high school football. Both communities came to Covington to support their teams. For two teams that had never played each other in any sport, this was a first. Hats off to all three schools and their athletic directors and administration for allowing this to happen. Needless to say it was a beautiful afternoon of pads popping, fans cheering, and sportsmanship by all. It was a great time by all! I am not going to share the score with you because it doesn’t matter. What mattered was we played! Finally, thank you to all of you at the IHSAA for having the foresight to allow us to play high school sports this Fall. It has meant so much for our student athletes, coaches, parents, and communities. Through your guidance and leadership it is amazing to see us entering Week 7 in football. As Coach Brohm says so well at Purdue, “Let’s Play Football!” Respectfully Submitted, Chris Meeks Head Football Coach Rensselaer Central High School
    28 points
  2. Am I the only one that understands what NO PARTICULAR ORDER means?
    25 points
  3. GID Friends and Foes (Im sure there still lingering out there) 😁 I am letting you all know like I did the others on the leadership team a few weeks back, that come August, I will be beginning a new position within Rensselaer School Corp, going into El Ed PE which was my original degree 18 years ago, so will finally enjoy getting myself back into that, but leaving behind 13 years of running our Alternative School and Credit Recovery program which allowed me to be in front of computer 8 hours a day running our lab for all of that, so being a primary member of the leadership team made sense for me at that time, but not so much anymore as I just will not have the time that this site takes during the season to moderate, et. al that goes into the day to day, week to week, etc. s I want to thank @DK_Barons and @77Jimmie for allowing me onto their team back in 2010, its been a nice little run for myself around these parts and I will be still a member and retain my moderation tools, but will only be able to get on in a very limited basis moving forward and do not want to have folks wondering why I am not getting back to them in the typical ways that you have been accustomed to. Thanks to @Irishman all these years together running the day to day it seems, appreciate your support and accessibility brotha. Like I said, I will be on here and there throughout the rest of the summer and will help when I can until August but the slow phase out of my position within the leadership team. Thanks to the many members and supporters all these years, appreciate all of you. Hope many of you continue to provide your content and commentary within the confides of what Coach TA always wanted, a positive promotion of Indiana HS Football in your schools, communities throughout the entire state of Indiana. Cheers Coach Eric Nowlin
    22 points
  4. There are going to be positive cases, that was expected, as IHSAA Commish stated here, and what most people understand. Taking it 2 weeks at a time as we approach August.
    17 points
  5. It was 12 years ago today that the GID suffered a devastating blow from which many thought it would never recover. The founder and guiding spirit of the forum, Tim Adams, passed away suddenly. Tim was a long time coach, and a tireless promoter of Indiana high school football. I consider myself very fortunate to have gotten to know him and call him a good friend. I know many of the people on the forum now joined after Tim passed, and they know him only by the occasional references on here. Perhaps others who knew him might share some of their recollections of this very good man.
    16 points
  6. I am Keith Nance. It is a HUGE understatement to say that this is less than an ideal situation for dozens of reasons. The obvious, we would all prefer to be standing beside and led by our dear friend Coach Bowsman. Secondly, the Superintendent being the head coach is obviously problematic. I have been fortunate to be allowed to work as a unpaid assistant/offensive coordinator while being the Superintendent for the last 5 years. I have coached for 20 as a varsity assistant all at WW, 19 with Phillip and 13 years as OC. It is my hobby, a passion and a chance to be close with kids and have a group of peers (coaching staff). It is my full intention to do this for one season only. For this team and these seniors. This team is special for a lot of reasons. One, they are good. BUT more importantly, they are extremely close and have been coached by Coach Bowsman since 3rd grade. The events of the last 5 months has only made them closer. Holden, Phillip's son and Quarterback/Captain will be a senior leading this team on the field. For all of them continuity was the #1 consideration. Honestly, this is putting my neck out professionally because it is controversial and already has some people spitting vitriol words, but this is about this team, these seniors and next season. And I would do anything for them.
    16 points
  7. It was one reason why my wife and I chose to leave the state. Love Indiana and Indiana Football, but the teaching load and lack of salary accompanying it weren't something that I wanted to support my family on. In Michigan, I teach fewer students each day, for $12,000 more a year at a public school, and thats with a pay scale that continues to increase. The biggest issue for many Indiana schools is that teacher pay is tied to enrollment. If your a young teacher that gets hired for $35k your school's enrollment is stagnant or shrinking you may never receive a raise. As a teacher, I've dedicated my life to kids, but I didn't take a vow of poverty nor do I consider myself a missionary. We are professionals and should be paid accordingly. Not crazy amounts, but in accordance to the degrees we have and the amount of work that we do.
    16 points
  8. All I know is this RAY SKILLMAN must of been one whale of a coach!!!
    15 points
  9. On a scale ranging from spaghetti noodle to granite counter top, how hard were you when you posted this article? Please be honest Sir.
    15 points
  10. If there is one thing I have learned in my time of following GID and then joining the forum it is this: it is incredibly shortsighted of me, having never played football, coached football, or officiated football to sit in the stands or stand on the sideline during the game and believe that my opinion or perspective of any particular play is the correct and absolute opinion or perspective. As to officiating I would ask how do you expect another human being to make 100’s if not 1000’s of split second decisions during the course of a game and get every one of them right. If we take the low number of 100 and say they miss 5 calls during a game. That is still a 95% success rate. I doubt any of us can claim that success rate on our daily tasks, yet we expect it of semi-volunteer people just like us every week. I hope we never put the underpaid individuals, that offer their time and physical strength to make this game as fair as it is, on a podium so we can question every call that we didn’t like. That would be the ultimate insult a real slap in the face. Players play, Coaches coach, Officials officiate, and Fans cheer. I’m a fan!
    15 points
  11. You may not be perfect and us parents are sure willing to let you know when we disagree with you but without your time and dedication, none of these young men would get to live out their dreams each and every Friday night. For that I want to thank all of you sincerely.
    14 points
  12. I've debated putting this on here for the last few days, but decided to do it because I think we too often hear about the negative, but rarely enough about the positive. The young man in the wheelchair is Sam (last name withheld for privacy, although he is probably more well-known in Evansville than our mayor). Sam has Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare genetic condition. His skin is fragile and blisters easily from even slight contact. He endures painful bandage changes daily and has endured countless medical procedures and spent many days and weeks in hospitals. He has literally fought EB every day of his entire life. He loves Memorial, Memorial sports and is an inspiration to our entire school family. And the Memorial family loves him. He rarely misses any Memorial football, basketball or baseball games. Saturday he watched the game from the sideline (and even attended the tailgate in the rain and wind for a little bit to help get the crowd fired up). While he may not look it, Sam is widely known as the toughest kid at Memorial. After the game (unbeknownst to anyone), Brock Combs, who was the clear star of the 4A game, received his medal and made his way over to Sam and hung it around his neck. A few minutes later the trophy was presented, this picture was taken. Very few people even knew it had happened until the following morning. This, my friends, is what HS football is all about! Thanks to ALL the coaches across our state who sacrifice so much to help young boys become men!
    14 points
  13. When Tom Landry passed away, he was greeted at the Pearly gates by Saint Peter. St. Pete said "Welcome Coach Landry and job well done. We have a surprise waiting for you that we think you'll be very pleased with." He led Coach Landry through the gates and down a golden road. Coach Landry's curiosity and excitement began to grow as he saw that they were walking towards a large stadium. As they came closer, Coach Landry could hear the sound of loud cheers. He looked at St. Peter who simply smiled back at him. When they arrived at the stadium St. Peter led him through the tunnel and onto the playing field. The stadium erupted with cheers when the crowd of angels saw him walking toward the sideline. St. Peter turned to him and said with a wink "Welcome to the game Coach Landry. We've been patiently awaiting this day." Coach Landry looked across the field and saw his old friend and rival Vince Lombardi waiving to him, ready to do battle once more. As St. Peter turned to walk away Coach Landry stopped him and said "Saint Peter, this is all wonderful. I can't wait to start the game, but before you go I have to ask you a question. I see there is a strange tower like contraption located behind each endzone. What are those?" Saint Peter replyed "those are endzone cameras. They film the game from an elevated endzone perspective for you to use for evaluation and teaching purposes. It's a fascinating tool that has evolved for coaches. Your camera is located in the South endzone. It's a Sideline Power 20 foot High Definition model with a 19 inch monitor. It's a really good model. I think you'll be very pleased with the results." Saint Peter could see that Coach Landry had a puzzled look on his face so he asked him what was wrong. Coach Landry replied "Well Saint Peter, I certainly don't mean to complain, but I can see that Coach Lombardi has a much taller endzone camera in the North endzone. Why does he get to use that one and what is the difference between it and my model?" Saint Peter smiled with a look of amusement washing over his expression. He nodded and said "Oh, that's a Hi-Pod X31 endzone camera. It has a 31 foot telescoping tower, High Definition camera, 11 inch High Definition monitor, and premium rain gear. Also, that's not Coach Lombardi's endzone camera. That's God's endzone camera".
    14 points
  14. Welcome to The Gridiron Digest Indiana Football Report. Each week, we spotlight some of the teams and storylines from Indiana high school football. Titans reloading in Class 3A The Gibson Southern Titans are reloading after winning the Class 3A state championship, starting the season with a 2-0 record, defeating two 5A teams. The Titans beat Terre Haute South 27-20 in Week 1, then defeated New Albany 45-7 last week. They open Pocket Athletic Conference play this Friday at home against Washington. But playing two larger schools in the non-conference schedule - and a strong out-of-state team in Week 4 in South Warren (Ky.) - helps prepare the Titans for conference and tournament play. “I think it is so important to play teams like that. It really forces us to prepare and play at a high level,” Titans coach Nick Hart said. “Then, when we see phenomenal athletes in conference or in the tournament it is something we have seen. We play the defending 5A Kentucky champs next week. Last year they whooped us pretty good, but we learned some valuable lessons that game and I don't think we win a state championship without those lessons.” The Titans graduated a number of players from last year’s squad, including quarterback Brady Allen, who is now at Purdue, but had a strong offseason. “I think it is always a fear that when you reach that mountain top that there can be a hangover going into the offseason,” Hart said. “With everyone that graduated you are looking around for leaders. Our kids did a fantastic job this offseason. I could not have been more pleased with what they did from December-July.” Quarterback Tanner Boyd has taken the reins of the offense and completed 39-of-47 passes for 311 yards and five touchdowns, spreading the ball around to multiple receivers. He was 16-of-18 against New Albany. A dual-threat, he also had a 131-yard rushing game against Terre Haute South in the opener. RB Devan Roberts tallied 169 yards and two scores on 13 carries against New Albany. “He has been great,” the Titans’ coach Hart said of Boyd. “He brings a different dynamic with his legs. We put a lot on our quarterbacks from a decision making standpoint and he has made phenomenal decisions so far. He's a great kid and he has done a great job.” Brownsburg returning to glory It’s been nearly four decades since the Brownsburg Bulldogs sat atop the high school football world with back-to-back state titles in 1984 and 1985. This current crop of Bulldogs is seeking to add to that proud tradition. With Nick Hart's father John at the helm, the Bulldogs enter Hoosier Crossroads Conference play this week after a pair of statement wins in their non-conference schedule, punctuated last week with a 42-35 victory over defending 5A champion Indianapolis Cathedral. Brownsburg moved up to No. 2 in the Class 6A poll with the victory, which came on the heels of a 21-16 win over Ben Davis in the opening week. Last season, the Bulldogs went 9-3 and won their first sectional title since 2009. “Our kids love to compete and winning never gets old, but we try to keep everything in perspective,” Bulldogs coach John Hart said. “We try to stay hungry and humble.” Quarterback Jayden Whitaker completed 15-of-23 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown, winning a shootout with Cathedral’s Danny O’Neil, who threw for 317 yards and four scores. Whitaker and Corey Smith have had a strong connection threw two weeks - Whitaker has 430 yards passing and is completing 63 percent of his throws. Smith has seven catches for 196 yards, including a 142-yard game last week. Junior running back Garrett Sherrell added 129 yards and three scores. “Our success throwing the ball has been the accumulation of a lot of hard work from our players,” Hart said. “Their commitment to working in the spring and summer showed up at the Colts and Hoover 7-on-7 tournaments.” Hart has led Evansville Reitz and Warren Central to state championships. He is the father of Gibson Southern’s Nick Hart. When Gibson Southern won the 3A title last year, the Harts became the third father-son duo to coach teams to IHSAA state titles, joining Bud and Kevin Wright, as well as John and Vince Lidy. All four of Hart’s children are head coaches, as is his son-in-law. “Our kids are tremendous coaches & their success coaching has been incredible,” John Hart said. “We all talk often about football, weight training, and program development, but mostly about life and family. I think we are all each other's biggest fans...led by their mom.” Nick Hart echoed those sentiments. “It is really special,” he said. “When I was old enough, I was always at practice. It is a part of who I am. We talk a lot. It is super-busy this time of year but there are always conversations going on.” Mater Dei takes big step with win The Evansville Mater Dei Wildcats have taken a step each of the last three years - sectional champ in 2019, regional in 2020 and semistate champ in 2021. The Wildcats would love nothing more than to climb the last rung this season as they look to make their seventh State Finals appearance since 1994 and seek to win their first title since 2000. They made a significant statement last week, beating then-5A No. 7 Castle 17-14. Mater Dei moved up to No. 1 in the Class 2A polls with the victory. While it is early in the season, last week’s victory was a big one. I “It seems that the MD-Castle game is always so close and such a battle, Friday night was no different. We have the greatest respect for Coach Doug Hurt and his staff and program – actually, the two programs have very similar philosophies,” Mater Dei coach Mike Goebel said. “The outcome could have been different, the lead changed hands four times and we were able to capitalize on a fumble late after our go-ahead score. Either team could have won.” The victory was Goebel’s 250th career win in a 26-year head coaching career - all at Mater Dei. Quarterback Mason Wunderlich threw for 224 yards, including a three-yard TD to Luke McDermon in the final two minutes to put the Wildcats over the top. They then forced two turnovers to seal the game - recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. When the Knights got the ball back, Mater Dei’s Joey Pierre picked off a pass to seal the game. Wunderlich has thrown for more than 459 yards through two games after passing for 2,671 yards a year ago. Pierre has been the leading rusher in both games as well as playing solid defense. “We think we have a good blend of players,” Goebel said. Several seniors have played in many games and they lead the way. Mason Wunderlich is much-improved. Joey Pierre is an outstanding two-way player and our leading scorer. We have great competition among our receivers to actually get on the field--they are all trustworthy. The line on both sides of the ball has been battling and is improving by the day. As to our main players, we really look at it as the team is trying to find itself and improve, that requires excellent effort from everyone.” With the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference being a 10-team league, every week is a league game, and therefore an important one. “Every game in the SIAC is important,” Goebel said. “Parity seems to be the word this season as only two teams remain undefeated after 2 games. We are now locked in on a very much improved Vincennes Lincoln team this weekend. Coach (Levi) Salters could very easily be undefeated at this point.” Roncalli starting strong Roncalli has started the season strong under new head coach Eric Quintana. The Royals are ranked No. 2 in both Class 4A polls and were ranked No. 1 in the IFCA poll for a week. In Week 1, Luke Hansen broke a 21-year-old school record, rushing for 335 yards and five touchdowns against Southport. He ran for 182 yards on 37 carries in a 17-0 Week 2 victory over Franklin Central. Roncalli’s massive offensive line, led by Iowa commit Trevor Lauck, opens the way. “We focus on ourselves every day. Our emphasis every day is fundamentals and physicality. Our offensive line did a great job at doing their jobs at max effort. Luke did the same,” Quintana said of Hansen’s record-breaking day and start to the season. “He has naturally progressed over the summer and early fall at training his eyes and trusting the guys up front. It helps that he is great in the weight room and an all-state wrestler. We have the tools every week to be a leading rushing team in the state. It's easy to talk, we have to work every day. Very proud of our guys' work ethic so far.” A native of Plymouth, Quintana takes over at Roncalli after 11 seasons as an assistant coach at five different Central Indiana schools. He was on the staff for three state championship teams - with Carmel in 2016 and Indianapolis Bishop Chatard in 2019 and 2020. “The last few months have gone by fast,” Quintana said of taking over as the Royals’ head coach. “I personally like to just get involved and get to work. The first thing was to create relationships with my guys and hire the best staff for our guys. Once that was done, we got straight to work program-wide. The summer went well and the school year is off to a great start. Having a supportive administration and alumni group around is great. All hands on deck to continue and raise the standards of such a great traditional program.” Roncalli faces 3A No. 1 Indianapolis Chatard this week. Lions snap streak, start 2-0 Entering the 2022 season, the Rushville Lions had one varsity player who had experienced a victorious Friday night. That number now extends to the entire team, as the Lions have won back-to-back games to start the season for the first time since 2013. The Lions beat Milan 41-35 in Week 1 to snap a 24-game losing streak. It was their first victory since Sept. 20, 2019, when they beat Connersville in overtime. Rushville followed it up with a 41-39 victory over Shelbyville in the resumption of their longstanding rivalry that had been paused for a decade. For the Lions, the victories were a long time in the making. Isaac Sliger, a 2013 Rushville graduate, returned to the head coaching job at his alma mater last year and worked to build the culture. Last season, they went 0-10, but were playing a number of freshmen and sophomores and building. "When we came in, we understood we wanted to start over completely from scratch and rebuild from the ground up," Sliger said. "For us, that started with creating a culture of living in the weight room, creating high standards, holding players and coaches accountable and creating an environment where our athletes support other athletes and each other in their respective sports. As everyone knows, that is not an easy thing to do every single day, let alone when you are trying to build something from the ground up. Our kids have bought in and have done such an amazing job of doing things the right way." The Lions are led by senior quarterback Austin Vance, a four-year starter who missed all but one game last season with an injury. He threw for 217 yards and four touchdowns against Milan and 122 yards last week against Shelbyville. Junior Harper Miller ran for 169 yards in the win over Shelbyville. Sliger described Miller and Jayden Roosa as their "Thunder and Lightning" combo in the running game in their uptempo offense. Rushville hosts its first Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference foe, Franklin County, this week. "We know and understand we have a lot to prove," Sliger said. "We as a program are in uncharted waters. We are learning how to win games and learning how to raise standards daily, in practice, in film and in the classroom. The EIAC has some great programs that weekly are going to present challenges to each other. Our guys love the challenge." Notable Center Grove extended its winning streak to 30 games last week with a 31-27 win over Carmel behind 180 passing yards from QB Tyler Cherry, 129 of which went to Noah Coy. Carmel’s Jackson Kazmierczak was 22-of-34 for 353 yards and two touchdowns, with Reece Ballin on the receiving end of 156 of those yards. … Evansville Reitz’s Ben Davies was 22-of-30 for 317 yards in a 31-28 victory over Vincennes Lincoln. … East Central’s Cole Burton was 10-of-17 for 291 yards and five touchdowns in a 41-7 win over neighboring Harrison (Ohio). … Guerin Catholic’s Ryan Zimmerman topped the 300-yard mark for the second straight game, as he was 16-of-24 for 313 yards in a 47-10 victory over Lafayette Catholic. … North Harrison’s Sawyer Wetzel ran for 239 yards in a 42-6 win over Scottsburg … Perry Central’s Sawyer Guillaume had 269 rushing yards and three TDs in a 42-21 win over Forest Park. … North Knox’s Caleb Bottum ran for 274 yards and four TDs in a 45-14 victory over Eastern Greene. … Heritage Christian’s Luke Valerio had 185 yards receiving and four TDs on five catches in a 52-33 win over Shenandoah. The Raiders’ Mayson Lewis had 238 rushing yards in a losing effort. … Crawfordsville is 2-0 for the first time in eight years under new head coach Brad Clark. The Athenians had won three games total since 2017 prior to this year. Other games to watch this week 6A #1 Center Grove at Louisville Trinity 6A #3 Cathedral at 6A #7 Penn Detroit Cass Tech at 6A #6 Carmel 5A #9 Fort Wayne North at 6A #9 Carroll 6A #10 Homestead at Fort Wayne Luers Crown Point at 5A #1 Merrillville 5A #2 Whiteland at 5A #5 Decatur Central 4A #1 New Palestine at Yorktown 4A #4 East Central at Cincinnati Moeller 4A #8 Greenfield-Central at 4A #10 Mt. Vernon 2A #8 Heritage Christian at 3A #5 Guerin Catholic 2A #2 Eastbrook at Oak Hill 1A #1 Indianapolis Lutheran at 2A #7 Triton Central Covenant Christian at 1A #2 Adams Central 1A #7 North Decatur at 1A #4 Monroe Central
    13 points
  15. Hey DT, Thanks for all the quality interviews and offseason content. I've learned a lot reading your writeups. Just want to let you know that they are appreciated.
    13 points
  16. Quite a few on this forum thought we wouldn’t get to this weekend with HS foootball. I was optimistic but had my doubts. 95% of scheduled high school games in Indiana were played. We still don’t know all the answers for this pandemic, but congratulations to every member school, coaches, staff and players on staying disciplined and being a valuable source of entertainment in your communities. Let’s hope 2021 is closer to normal(whatever that will be) and we are all in the stands cheering our student athletes.
    13 points
  17. Congrats to the Frankfort Hot Dogs for having their first winning regular season (5-4) since 2009.
    13 points
  18. Ah, DT again mixing up "contraction" (schools dropping programs) and "consolidation" (schools merging). I'm not sure why 280 is your magic number. I know you're often confused about the difference between high school and college football, but fewer schools does not mean more quality, because - outside of the largest communities, students aren't likely to jump schools. It just means fewer opportunities. If an isolated rural school drops football, that's 30 or 40 kids who simply won't get the opportunity to play football, not 10 talented kids that will go somewhere else. High school sports are about opportunities, and the fact that someone actually celebrates and gloats about reducing opportunities for participation in this great game on a high school website is absurd, but par for the course for certain people around here who traffic in absurd, off-base and usually uninformed hot takes. Those schools are consolidating due to finances and population changes in their communities. As Indiana suburbanizes, consolidation is a reality. But we may also see addition - like Fishers being carved out of HSE. Programs do not close for "poor results." They may close due to smaller numbers (and those are generally programs at tiny schools), but there are a lot of programs who went through 20+ game losing streaks that continue to run - and some are thriving.
    13 points
  19. On behalf of the leadership team here at the Gridiron Digest, just wanted to express our thanks to all of you, our friends of GID!!! Whether you agree with folks or disagree, its always a great conversation (well most of the time) with fans of Indiana High School Football. Thanks to all our Boosters who generously give to us yearly Thanks to all our coaches who patronage our site Thanks to all our other members who engage, converse , argue, and PROMOTE, the best parts of this great game in our state. Good Luck to the 12 teams competing this weekend for State Titles and a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL!! Cheers Coach Nowlin
    13 points
  20. This is so incredibly dumb
    13 points
  21. If you have a news story or link to an actual story, like in the case of Hammond Morton, it's ok to post. But to just post "I heard....." regardless of what the topic is......is not acceptable on this site.
    12 points
  22. Welcome to The Gridiron Digest Indiana Football Report. This weekly feature will run throughout the season and highlight big games and big storylines throughout Indiana. This brings us back to the roots Tim Adams began this site with, as a place to bring together and presenting news from around the state. "Battle of Broadway" a matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 1 By Andrew Smith The Gridiron Digest One and a half miles of Broadway is all that physically separates Merrillville and Andrean High Schools. But when the two meet up in the aptly-named “Battle of Broadway” matchup Friday night at Merrillville’s Demaree Stadium, the matchup won’t just pit neighbors against each other. It will also pit No. 1 vs. No. 1. Merrillville begins the year as the No. 1 team in Class 5A after winning three straight regional titles in Class 6A, while Andrean begins atop the 2A poll as the defending state champion. “There will be a lot of excitement for the ‘Battle of Broadway’ as expectations are high for both programs. It's always a fun physical game where both teams play hard,” Merrillville coach Brad Seiss said. “We both have a lot of respect for each other's football teams.” Andrean ran the table in Class 2A last season, ending with a 21-9 victory over Evansville Mater Dei in the State Finals. But the 59ers have quickly turned the page. “We haven't talked about last year much except maybe in the context of prepping the body for the grind of a season,” Andrean coach Chris Skinner said. “The seniors are motivated to leave their own unique mark on the program. Everyone is stepping into at least a slightly different role compared to last season. It's a new team with a new leadership group.” Merrillville moved to 5A during the summer’s reclassification due to the school’s enrollment. The Pirates have had recent success, going 33-5 over the last three seasons and advancing to the semistate each year, but falling one step short of Lucas Oil Stadium. “Everyone wants to talk about us going into 5A because of the success that we've had over the last few years in 6A,” Merrillville coach Brad Seiss said. “We aren't really concerned about that until we get to the tournament. We've got the same 2 non-conference games in Andrean and Hobart then we get into DAC play. Getting better weeks 1-9 is the most important thing we can do as we prepare for the tournament in October.” Meanwhile, the entirety of Andrean’s schedule consists of teams in the top three classes. Merrillville is a premier opponent to begin the year. “I love competition. It doesn't matter if it's competition within our program or against competitive opponents,” Skinner said. “I believe in the ‘iron sharpens iron’ mantra. There are certainly challenges in playing a schedule like ours in which every opponent is at least two classes higher than us, but our players accept those challenges. We will certainly be exposed in certain areas by playing that level of competition, but it allows us to make adjustments that end up in growth down the road. I have a lot of respect for Merrillville specifically. Coach Seiss has been able to reload year after year. It's a fantastic Week 1 game that typically draws a good crowd and gets the attention of college coaches and scouts as well.” The scouts will have plenty of top players to see - Merrillville sports two of the top seniors in Indiana in Colorado State commit Justin Marshall - who had 1,088 receiving yards a year ago - and safety Phillip Roche. Andrean features Notre Dame commit Drayk Bowen, who had 965 rushing yards, 105 tackles and three interceptions a year ago. Andrean also has junior QB Scott Ballentine returning after completing 68 percent of his passes for 2,860 yards and junior WR Patrick Clacks, who had 753 yards last year. “Drayk is an amazing talent and certainly one that does a lot for us,” Skinner said. “He rarely comes off the field. He's also a great role model for how to train, how to prep, how to take care of the body.” Opening the year in Indy Another cross-town rivalry will kick off 2022 - but 70 miles down the road at Lucas Oil Stadium. For the first time since 2004, Harrison and West Lafayette - two schools less than five miles apart - will meet on the gridiron. The 6 p.m. kickoff will begin the IHSAA football season at the annual Horseshoe Classic. Beginning the season at Lucas Oil Stadium is always a treat, but both programs have designs on finishing it there, too. “We are excited to start the season in Lucas Oil Stadium,” said West Lafayette coach Shane Fry, whose teams are 94-18 in nine seasons. “This is the first time we have played Harrison since 2004. It is a fierce rivalry in other sports, and most of the players know each other. It is a unique situation with our football fields being two miles apart and us traveling 65 miles to play on the big stage and kickoff the 2022 season. This is a great opportunity for our program, both to play at Lucas Oil and to matchup against Harrison.” Fry’s squad won the 2018 state title and was the 2015 3A runner-up. The Red Devils posted a 9-1 record last season and have won at least seven games in each of the last nine years. Harrison is coming off an 8-2 season. The Raiders won sectional titles in 2018 and 2019, but fell to eventual 5A state runner-up Zionsville in the sectional each of the last two years. The second game will be another marquee matchup, as last year’s 3A runner-up Brebeuf Jesuit faces 3A No. 1 Bishop Chatard in a matchup of top teams from the Circle City Conference. Chatard, which has won 15 state championships, returns to 3A after spending a year in Class 4A due to the Tournament Success Factor. The two squads have been frequent sectional foes, but they will not meet in the tourney this year, as Brebeuf has moved to Class 4A and begins the season ranked No. 5 New coach in Columbus One of the most high-profile coaching changes over the offseason came in Columbus, where Tim Bless retired after 22 years at the helm of the Columbus North Bull Dogs. Logan Haston, a former standout quarterback at Avon and Manchester University, takes over. It’s Haston’s first head coaching position, but he had previously been on staff at Hamilton Southeastern, Fishers and his college alma mater, Manchester. “I am very thankful to be taking over such a well-established program,” Haston said. “Coach Bless has built a strong reputation at Columbus North with tough, hard-working athletes who play the game the right way. I am excited to build upon the tradition & success that has come before me, while also implementing my own cultural identity that meshes with the players & coaching staff.” Haston played for two standout coaches at Avon - Dave Shelbourne and Mark Bless - Tim’s brother - before matriculating to Manchester, where he played for Shannon Griffith. “I'm not sure if I'd be where I am today without my experience at Avon,” Haston said. “Between two years with Dave Shelbourne, to my final two years under Mark Bless, I was mentored by some incredible coaches. I learned what the standard of excellence looks like, and how to compete in a first class manner. I will forever be grateful for my time as an Oriole.” Haston takes over a squad that went 6-4 last season and won its second straight Conference Indiana title. It has a strong non-conference schedule, beginning with a Week 1 matchup at Decatur Central. “I'm very pleased with our growth this summer as a team,” Haston said. “Our players have really bought in to what we're trying to accomplish, particularly the seniors. Their leadership has thoroughly impressed me, and we're going to lean on it during the season. Decatur Central is well-coached and will be a very tough Week 1 opponent, but we're excited for the challenge.” Marauders building off a title Another defending champion is Mt. Vernon (Fortville), where first-year coach Vince Lidy led the Marauders to a 14-1 record and the Class 4A title. It was the Marauders’ first football State Finals appearance after advancing to the regional and semistate the two years prior. MV graduated several key players, but has a pair of building blocks in WR George Burhenn - a Purdue commit - and QB/WR Eli Bridenthal to lead the way. The duo combined for 1,064 receiving yards a year ago. Burhenn and senior linebacker Kellen La Belle are the top returning tacklers, each with 44. La Belle also had eight tackles for loss. “The success of last year is a result of great work and weekly improvement from the players and coaches as we worked through each week,” Lidy said, noting the Marauders’ 37 wins over the last three seasons are third-most in the state behind Center Grove and Cathedral. That has built as the Marauders have more than 110 players in four grades on the roster this fall. “A huge benefit of playing so long in the postseason is the amount of reps and practice our younger players were able to experience as we moved through the tournament. The success was also a great springboard into winter training. Excitement has stayed at an elevated level and this next group of players wants to continue to build on the success of the past three seasons and add to their legacy in the MV football program.” The Marauders open the season at Noblesville, which gave them their lone blemish last season, a 57-36 defeat in Week 1. It will be the first game in the Millers’ new stadium. Lidy said the Millers will bring a challenge with their power running game and large offensive line. “We always aim to play the 'perfect' game each Friday, but the most important thing in Indiana high school football is to find ways to get a little better each week and be playing your best football towards the end of the season. “I feel as though you don't win the state championship based on the result of Week 1. Our program lived through that in 2021. Before we can worry about conference championships, sectional and playoff championships, we have to take care of ourselves and focus on week 1 first.” Other key games 6A No. 5 Warren Central at 6A No. 1 Center Grove 6A No. 4 Brownsburg at 6A No. 7 Ben Davis 6A No. 6 Westfield at 4A No. 2 New Palestine 5A No. 8 Mishawaka at 3A No. 5 Mishawaka Marian 4A No. 6 Evansville Memorial at Jasper 3A No. 3 GIbson Southern at Terre Haute South 6A No. 2 Cathedral at Lafayette Jeff 1A No. 1 Lutheran at Beech Grove 2A No. 2 Evansville Mater Dei at Evansville Central Louisville Trinity at 6A No. 3 Carmel Elkhart at 5A No. 9 Concord 3A No. 6 Lawrenceburg at 4A No. 7 East Central
    12 points
  23. Just wanted to give a hug shout out to the players, coaches, cheerleaders, and fans from Eastern Hancock last night. After the tragedy of having one of students passing away in the stands before our game last week, the EH faithful brought a sign to the coin toss honoring her. These kind of acts are what makes the game worthwhile. Need more of this kind of being humane to one another on and off the field.
    12 points
  24. considering 95% of the "drama" and "reports" stems from that section of the website that truly serves no purpose, @DK_Barons pulled the plug on it which I fully support. It truly has turned into a personal political playground for about 7-10 users and continue to go around and around and then it goes too far and lots of energy is used to to moderate that section that serves no purpose to our sport of Football. Coach Tim Adams original foresight into that section was a place where you could put on blast your favorite sports teams and players and to a lesser extent a place where folks could banter with @dawgieinthepound back in the day. Those days are long gone and now its just pure stupidity from my seat. Do not have to agree with my sentiment about it, but I personally have had enough of that section going on 4 + years, which is sad because it could of be utilized as a nice section to promote new ideas, pop culture, show/book/etc recommendations, express different Hobbies and such. Instead its a non stop FACEBOOK lite where everyone gets all twisted up and non stop political garbage spews... rinse repeat. That is my answer. I did not tell DK to hit the eject button, but I made my stance clear on what I thought about the section, however, I am just 1 lone voice. The fact that I have spent any energy on this even right now is tiresome to me, but I did feel the need to at least give @Muda69 my thoughts on it. Bottom line: Our website sole purpose was created for the promotion of Indiana High School Football, its players, coaches, communities that participate in it.
    12 points
  25. It seems odd that this post gets 0 replies and there are a bazillion posts about cancelling/postponing the season.
    12 points
  26. Practice is great July 1st What I would hate to see is all sports all teams do a mad rush and start trying to schedule 7 on 7s, 11 on 11s, 1 day shootouts, insert countless other competition days Be happy to work with your kids in house and prepare what you need to do in house during those times. For 1 summer, I am sure the schools can get by with elimination of competition days Just one guys thoughts
    12 points
  27. Bud Wright - Sheridan ( not a day over 21 years old)
    12 points
  28. 12 points
  29. Not too happy bit this particular thread. Winning games can be tough given injuries, the general youth of the team, among other factors. But these kids are out there fighting, let's not make fun of their efforts.
    12 points
  30. The blind draw cheats the fans and the kids. No other rational way to view it.
    12 points
  31. We tested them, but decided against it because the crew couldn't carry all 4 of them at once.
    12 points
  32. This is foolishness. Side note. The dirty looks are because you are wearing a letter jacket from ‘02. You’re THAT guy.
    12 points
  33. My kid probably had the best arm in the middle school and would have made a good quarterback and was downright mean as a linebacker, but I advised her not to play football.
    12 points
  34. I want to thank all the Veterans here for their service to help make all this possible !!! Hope you all had a great day so far and it should get even better around 7:00/7:30 this evening ! Godspeed !
    11 points
  35. If you figure out the answer, bottle it and sell it. I supervise travel SB tournaments in the summer. This has been an ongoing issue for some time. I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall. I see guys/gals come into officiating and in the world of travel sports it’s usually to supplement their income, as you can make decent side hustle cash. At any rate they come into it with their eye on the $300-$1200 paycheck for a weekend’s work. You can usually tell pretty quick, the guys/gals you’re talking about will be expert officials in a couple of weeks once they figure out if anyone disagrees with them, they can just “toss them”. Then as the supervisor/UIC I have to deal with it. Here’s my thing I will do absolutely anything within my power to help a young official. What I’m trying to say is there are people officiating, who like every other walk of life are only interested in the paycheck. They have no pride in what they do, their appearance (proper uniform and looking professional), their performance, or any of the things you aspire to as a normal functioning member of society. They look at the weekend as an “quick and easy” side hustle and it just shouldn’t be that easy if you’re doing a good job. I spend a great deal of time watching hand and helping young umpires. But the uncoachable ones I don’t waste any of my time on. If they do a decent job no worries, if they’re a pain in the ass, I tell my boss don’t send them to my site. And I do hold the trump card, because as hard as officials are to find, decent site directors are even harder! Bottom line what you are seeing is largely a societal issue. How’s your experience in fast food restaurants today vs what it was 10 years ago? What about just your everyday dealings with people in general? I’m nearing the end of my officiating career. I feel like I’m working harder than I ever have. Basically at 57 it requires more than it did when I was younger. I’ve worked more games this fall than I’ve worked in years. I’ve traveled a little to do JV/Frosh/MS games. Driving an hour for a JV game and a $65 paycheck isn’t exactly adding to my IRA. Spending eight Sunday evenings driving two hours round trip plus the hourish long required association meetings doesn’t exactly add 0’s to the bank account either. All the time spent studying film, studying rules, casebook, yea just time you don’t get back. Or just Friday night at a large CI school, five guys get crammed into a little room with five chairs, two folding, one pisser, one shower, five bottles of water and five little Powerade towels. This is inside a gym with countless locker rooms in it. Left home about 3:30 got home about 11:30 for 80 bucks. I’m not whining about what we get paid or how we’re treated, honestly we probably get treated better today than we ever have. But there is this growing stigma out here there officials are all of the sudden getting rich, and it’s just simply not the case. But I will tell you this, the older I get the more schools I drive by to get to schools that take care of the officials, and it’s never been about the money.
    11 points
  36. The people of South Bend voted for Pete Buttigeig to be their mayor. That tells you all that you need to know.
    11 points
  37. Teams from the north wear pink panties.
    11 points
  38. ok here it goes: here are wins and losses this year so for for 305 teams I counted 0 wins-29 teams 1 win-34 team 2 win-53 teams 3 win-46 teams 4 win-47 teams 5 win-46 teams 6 win-34 teams 7 win-16 teams out of the 29 0 win teams there are 4 games were 0wins vs 0wins play...so, at least 4 will have a win next week there are 19 undefeated teams...16 that are 7-0, 2 that are 6-0, and 1 that is 5-0... Like I said...I was really bored and thought there was a lot teams with no wins...so, i just started counting...everyone have a great week...cant wait until sectional draw.
    11 points
  39. Bud Wright Stadium - home of the Sheridan Blackhawks. Still active, but I think 9 state titles and 2 runners-up allow you that honor.
    11 points
  40. Dunno anything about any of that but I am anxious to see Phallic Academy’s mascot.
    11 points
  41. I don't mind sounding like a broken record. I will remind the IHSAA of this every year until it's fixed. Tragedy #1 - Lafayette Jeff vs Merrillville Tragedy #2 - Avon vs Brownsburg No way these teams should have to meet each other in round one. The regular season has tournament implications at every level of every sport............except Indiana high school sports. Sad.
    11 points
  42. This is the first time I have seen this article. I believe the title is inflammatory and false; a different look at the numbers would suggest the following title: High School Football Participation Numbers Decreased Slightly, but that is OK There is absolutely NO evidence that football is Dying a slow death. There is still plenty of participation. The author points to a 6.5% decrease in athletes playing football and the rise of Lacrosse. What the author does not point out is that the decrease in participating schools across the country has been 1% in 10 years. That means that 99% of the US high schools that fielded teams 10 years ago still have students excited about playing football. 1% decrease in schools participating is not a slow death. Furthermore, the author makes additional points that explain the slight decrease in participation. Most notable of these is the decline in the total number of boys in this country aged 15-19. His census numbers showing that there are 700,000 fewer high school boys in this country accounts for a 6% decrease in the number of high school males. So football participation has decreased at the exact same level as high school boys attending high school. Amazing coincidence (haha). Bottom line: Using his numbers, the same proportion of boys are playing now as did 10 years ago. Hardly a dying sport. There is some truth to arguments that sports specialization causes some athletes to choose other sports (baseball players choosing fall ball over football). There is also truth that some families are pushing kids in different directions due to concussion risk. And there are a few families that see sports as a path to a scholarship and push their kids toward other sports that that they mistakenly believe are easier routes to that scholarship. But overall, our communities are excited about this Friday night and the beginning of football season. Players are excited. Students look forward to attending and entire communities are coming together on Friday nights. Football is definitely not dying.
    11 points
  43. I'd add coaches in other sports who discourage students from participating in multiple sports.
    10 points
  44. This is a topic often not considered when schools are looking for potential opponents. It's probably THE most important thing that should be considered. If a school still has paper coke/Pepsi cups for soft drinks with real carbonation happening behind the counter. That school gets a +5 on the concessions list. You can usually tell a lot about the quality of opponents by how good food is at the concessions. If they have burnt popcorn or cold hot dogs and no greasy hamburgers or brauts like a college campus don't consider them. US parents like to eat a lot so quit making me stop at fast food on my way to the games and let me support the FFA club by buying a 1/2lbs heart attack burger they made on a grill donated by the local bar. Allow me to buy the 1gal slushy from the drama department. My point is concessions have gotten worse and I'm tired of cold popcorn terrible tasting better for your health hot dogs, and soft drinks that taste like they sat in an athletic department cooler since last year. I want greasy unhealthy foods with softdrinks in a paper cup and real carbonation. So what schools have the best concession stands?
    10 points
  45. Just goes to show, Catholics do more with less.
    10 points
  46. My one burning question: If we start fall sports season with no fans present, or at most only family, how will the soccer kids know the difference? 😀
    10 points
  47. I’ve been following this since I was updated on Friday the coach was headed to the hospital. Sometimes we are quickly reminded how fragile life is and as great as this game we celebrate is, it is minuscule in the whole scheme of our time on earth. My thoughts and prayers are for the family and community that they can find comfort in this difficult time now and in the next couple weeks as we approach the holiday season.
    10 points
  48. I realize that I am being sucked in by the resident troll, but I refuse to let the program be spoken of in such a manner. Numbers are numbers, and that is fine, but what is most important is what you don't see in the significance of the sport to the many student-athletes who participate. The community loves football and supports it dearly. Like many rural communities, Madison has been hit heavily by the drug epidemic and has one of the highest rates of suicide in the state (did you read the article??). Football is all some of these kids have, win or lose. If you follow the Hoosier Hills Conference, you will know that the schedule has in fact been adjusted to allow the smaller programs the opportunity to schedule an out of conference game. Other conference affiliations have been considered but such a move isn't as simple as it seems. There aren't many programs in southeast Indiana with which to pair. Coach Morrison is a Madison alum and has been loyal and given everything he has for the program. Someone else will come in and do the same. Regardless of record, these kids and the community will support the coach and the student-athletes that participate. These points have been argued to you many times and you fail to consider anything besides shear numbers. If that is all we ever consider, we fail the young men we try to support with this game. For some schools with very small enrollments and low participation, perhaps it is something they must consider. Madison has nearly 900 students at the high school and regularly has 60-70 kids on the team. Football isn't going anywhere, nor should it.
    10 points
  49. They’re working. The risk of serious injury in high school football is lower than ever. The game is getting safer and safer. Take this back into your communities and spread the word to the soccer moms who are keeping their kids out of youth football. https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/?s=Serious+injury+risk+in+high+school
    10 points
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